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next to a panda face. it gets better than that. steven harper even had to, yes, this is canada, folks. yeah. see that? can you just imagine barack obama having to do that? anyway, it's only fair he had to do it considering fed ex actually paid for the pandas' transportation complete with an in-flight meal, tons of bamboo and 20 apple seeds. in fact, if it weren't for fed ex, canada would be totally bamboozled. 90% of a panda's diet is bamboo and it won't grow up in canada's climate so the canadians have been forced to hire fed ex to ship 700 pounds of bamboo from the memphis zoo two to three times a week for the next ten years. who knew memphis made so much bamboo. but this is really what america has become here, people. we're just a bamboo supplier. that's actually the real reason that we're telling you this story tonight. because not too long ago, it was the united states getting pandas from china and there are pandas
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in zoos around the country. some of them have even had babies to great fanfare. we haven't gotten a new panda in years because the cuddly bears even though they're not so nice, we don't think they're cuddly. usually when you get a panda it means a cuddly relationship with the big c, china. that's exactly what china and canada now have. when the u.s. balked at the keystone pipeline, canada said don't worry, we'll build a pipeline to the west coast instead, that way all our oil will come straight to the west coast, get on a ship and come to you. last month the chinese purchased a company, a canadian oil company with a big price tag, $15 billion, big enough to be the biggest chinese foreign acquisition in history. if they try to do a deal like that in the united states we tell them to take a hike. so while all the headlines are about pandas today, the takeaway
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is this. china and canada are bffs, leaving the united states out in the cold. "ac 360" starts right now. good evening, everyone. tonight, only on this program, exclusive images of the alleged doorstop killer long before the killing, the chase and the shootout as you'll see here, a deadly violent picture was already taking shape of this man a decade ago. also tonight, amanda knox convicted of murder by an italian court, acquitted on appeal, now yet another court weighs her fate. how do you say double jeopardy in italian? can amanda knox legally say enough? later, with public opinion and political forces undergoing a seismic shift on same sex marriage, the supreme court is now just a day away from taking up two cases on the question that can make history or stop it cold. we begin tonight only on "360" with how the son of a well respected, well connected colorado family went off the rails and allegedly became a murderer. these are exclusive images of
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evan ebel more than ten years ago at a camp for troubled youth in samoa. here he is with his friends and here he is in front of a hut at that camp that he and some of his friends burned down, torched. we are joined to talk about the early signs of violence that were seen in ebel. there were a lot of them. this meantime is the memorial service for colorado prison chief tom clements, who ebel is suspected of killing on his doorstep. in addition, possibly to a pizza delivery man earlier. >> last tuesday night, tom and i were watching tv and our doorbell rang. and my life was forever changed. but i want to start a little earlier and talk about when our story really started. i was 19 years old and i fell in love with a guy who sat on the
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front row of my juvenile delinquency class. >> tom clements' wife and daughters today in colorado springs. evan ebel went out in a blaze of gunfire two states away in texas, where ever since investigators have been poring over physical evidence. tonight, they have some answers and they look pretty solid. casey wian joins us. what's the latest in this investigation? >> reporter: well, that's right, anderson. it is probably the most solid piece of evidence that they have uncovered in this investigation. the el paso county, colorado sheriff's department confirming that ballistics tests provide a conclusive match between the gun that was used to kill tom clements on tuesday in colorado and the gun that was being fired by evan ebel during that shootout that resulted in his death in texas two days later. now the investigation, it is clear, moves to an inquiry into whether anyone else was involved in this murder. el paso county sheriffs say they have no evidence yet that anyone
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else was, but they are clearly looking into that possibility. >> i know there was a shuffle in the prison system about a month ago. 211 gang members, the same gang that ebel was a member of, were moved to a different prison. do we know, was that shakeup somehow related to clements' murder? >> reporter: well, there's been a lot of speculation that it might be, but we spoke with the department of corrections. they say those types of shakeups happen routinely, moving gang members from one prison to another. we also spoke today with the reverend leon kelley, who works in gang intervention programs here in colorado. he confirmed that these are -- these types of movements are routine. he denies or does not believe that that is what this murder is linked to, but investigators say they are investigating every possibility. they have not ruled that out. >> and members of ebel's family have spoken out. what did they say? >> reporter: well, his father did release a statement, jack ebel, who as we have reported and has been widely
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acknowledged, is a long-time friend of colorado's governor john hickenlooper. his statement says i am profoundly saddened by the recent events involving my son, evan ebel, and offer my most sincere condolences to all of those individuals and families who have suffered from his actions. also, evan ebel's mom, who is divorced from his father, posted on a blog in the last couple of days sort of a timeline as to what set him, to i donuse your earlier, off the rails. his younger sister was killed in an automobile accident at the age of 16. although evan ebel the mom said was in trouble before that, that is what really began a very dark, dark period in his life and he ended up in prison not long after the death of his sister. >> casey, appreciate the latest on the investigation. >> more now on this guy's troubled youth. you just heard from casey a little bit about it. these exclusive images that were taken when he was at a boot camp in samoa, where he was reportedly among the most troubled kids there. you will only see these pictures
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on "360." the pacific coast academy and others like it became very controversial. we reported on such boot camps over the years and the allegations of abuse sometimes surrounding them. kurt frye was at pacific coast with evan ebel and joins us tonight. as we know now, ebel was part of a white supremacist gang, the 211 crew. did he give you any indication back then that he was racist or into white supremacy? >> yes. he was very proud of his sicilian heritage and he always talked about wanting to kill so many people that he would make hitler jealous. that was one of his better things that he liked to talk about with me in particular. >> he actually brought up hitler to you? >> yes. he said he wants to do so many killings that he will make hitler jealous. >> what did you think when he said that? >> i thought he was crazy to say that. he really -- he really was racist but at the same time, he did hang warned
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african-americans at the camp. so it was very contradictory when he said that. >> and he told you he used to carry a gun? >> he said he used to carry a gun with him. this is when he was before the camp, so we're talking early teens, 15, 16 years old. and when he actually did arrive at the camp, we did find a knife on him when he first arrived during a strip search. so he was prone to carrying weapons. >> the videos that we have, have authorities asked for them at all? >> no. they haven't. i've tried to submit them before and they've said that because it was in samoa, they really have no authority to do anything. >> i don't know what i did wrong. >> in terms of the people who are investigating the murder, have they asked for any of these tapes? >> no. no, they haven't. you are the first. >> what kind of person was he when you knew him? >> when i knew him, he was quite
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an angry and violent person. and just his general attitude towards authority was always i don't care. he's gone through so many bad things in his life that really, it just didn't surprise me that he ended up being killed in a shootout with police. >> how old was he when you guys were at this camp? >> about 16, 17 age, maybe 15. >> and how was he treated by the other young people at this boot camp? >> most everybody there avoided him. he was quite a scary individual, especially by the end of the time. he had engaged in several fights with other students, one in particular he beat up with a broomstick, a broken broomstick, and bloodied him up really bad in the face and he even hit me a couple times in the face with that same broomstick so most everybody avoided him. and generally tried not to talk
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with him. >> did you get a sense of what he was angry about? i mean, where this came from? >> he had a lot of anger towards authority. he never liked being told what to do and his time in isolation really only compacted that. he not only was being told what to do, but every single aspect of his life, including when to eat, how to eat, where to go, when to wake up, everything was dictated down to the minute, and that really frustrated him. >> it's interesting to me, because a lot of times after somebody has committed a crime and you talk to people who know them, they all say i'm so surprised, this is not the person i knew. you're saying the exact opposite. you're saying this doesn't surprise me when i heard this, you know, it made sense to me. >> yeah. no, it really did make sense to me. after knowing him the whole time in the program and then several times i contacted him over the years, after he got out, he hadn't changed at all for the better.
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he was really bad and he just got so bad at the end, so violent toward everybody that really when i got sent the link that he was killed in a shootout with police, i was really like that's evan for you. >> wow. kurt, i appreciate you talking to us. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> let us know what you think about this case. follow me on twitter. next, the supreme court and same sex marriage. two cases, nine justices. incredibly high stakes for millions of people and the millions who love them. the question is will social and political acceptance sway the court? we will talk to jeff toobin and california's attorney general. later, we'll take you to italy where a court is deciding on amanda knox's fate. you might be asking wasn't her murder conviction already overturned. yes, it was. we will show you why what sounded like the last word really wasn't the final say in her future. copd makes it hard to breathe,
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early tomorrow morning, the u.s. supreme court will hear arguments in case number 12-144, hollings worth v parry, better known as history in the making. the crowds outside the court certainly know that. hollin hollingsworth v parry challenges california's ban on same sex marriage. people have come out in force in defense of the same sex marriage act. that is part of the backdrop. today, senator mark warner became the third u.s. senator to voice support for the right to marry in the last few days. public opinion is shifting. our new polling shows 53% support for recognizing same sex marriage, up 13 percentage points from just six years ago. so's the willingness to
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recognize gay friends and family. 57% of people now say they have a family member or close friend who is gay. 12 percentage points higher than in 2007. tomorrow, though, the only survey that really counts, will have a sample size of nine. nine supreme court justices and perhaps only one pivotal voice when the decisions are read most likely in june. let's talk about it with senior legal analyst jeffrey toobin and california's attorney general, kamela harris. tomorrow, the justices will be dealing with whether or not americans have a constitutional right to same sex marriage and they are looking at the constitutionality of proposition 8. what's at the core of the argument for each side? >> really, a simple question. the issue is can a government, state government, federal government, put gay people and straight people into separate categories, and give rights to one group, straight people, and withhold them from the other. that's the issue and on the other side, the defenders of proposition 8 will be saying
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look, the voters spoke on this issue, this is a political question, the court should stay out of it. if gay people want the right to vote, they should organize and do it through the political system, not through judges. >> attorney general harris, supporters in your state, california, of the ban there say that the issue is evolving in the public domain, the supreme court shouldn't step in now and short-circuit the democratic process and impose a 50 state solution. to that, you say? >> that there is a significance to the passage of time and no more time should pass on this issue. the reality is 61% of californians are in favor of same sex marriage. the united states supreme court since the 1880s has found 14 times that marriage is a fundamental right and for all of those reasons, we should allow same sex couples to be treated as anyone else and allow them to marry. >> but attorney general, you're talking about polls. what about the voters in your state who voted twice for the ban? what do you say to them?
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it sounds like you're talking about lawmaking and law enforcement on polls. >> you're exactly right, anderson, and frankly, i think instead of reading the polls what we should be doing is reading the constitution, which says that marriage and describes marriage as a fundamental right, deserving of the highest levels of protection. the bottom line here is that like loving versus virginia, a case that was decided by the united states supreme court in 1967, we don't want to have to wait until everyone catches up with what the constitution requires. the time is now to be true to the constitution and to treat equally situated people as equals. >> jeff, it's interesting, some people have cited justice ginsburg's observations that the court had gone too far ahead of public opinion with roe versus wade, saying it would have been better to let the legislative process work its will. could that influence how she or others rule here? >> absolutely.
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the real tension here is between -- even among supporters of same sex marriage, the attorney general harris just mentioned loving versus virginia. that's the case that said in 1967, states can no longer ban racial intermarriage. the court did much the same thing about abortion in roev wade. they said we don't care if texas or any other state wants to ban abortion. we're not going to let you do it. the political process had already run its course with loving versus virginia. no state wanted to go back at that issue. abortion, it didn't settle that question. so the issue is, is same sex marriage today more like racial intermarriage in 1967 or is it more like abortion in 1973. i think a lot of justices are going to be struggling with that question. >> but attorney general, it's hard to overstate that the precedent that this could be setting, the court could be setting. >> right. but again, anderson, it gets back to it is about establishing what the court has established
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14 times since the 1800s, marriage is a fundamental right. i would suggest to you that unlike some other issues that may still remain controversial in this country, same sex marriage is a different -- is of a different nature. we have the president of the united states weighing in on this. we have over 100 republican leaders weighing in on this in favor of same sex marriage. the majority of americans, the majority of californians, if i can speak for california, the majority of catholics in this country, support same sex marriage. >> jeff, i'm wondering about the personality and the personal lives of some of these justices and how that may weigh in on this. the ability to have kids for some supporters of proposition 8, that's at the root of the argument. some say same sex couples shouldn't be allowed to marry because they can't have children and marriage is based on the idea of procreation. defendants say that's not fair, you would then have to apply that to opposite sex couples as well. and some people on the supreme court cannot have kids or do not have kids. >> that's true.
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and there are two divorced people on the supreme court. sotomayor and thomas have both been divorced. justice thomas remarried. elena kagan has never been married. the others are married, also ruth bader ginsburg is widowed now. >> some don't have biological children. justice roberts does not have biological children. >> he has two adopted children. fascinating story in the "l.a. times" today came out about how john roberts' cousin, who is an out lesbian woman from san francisco who wants to marry her partner, will be chief justice roberts' guest at the argument. now, i don't think that suggests exactly how he's going to vote, but john roberts comes from a very conservative catholic family in northern indiana, and he has a close gay relative. i just think that is indicative of how much the country has changed over the years. >> all right. jeff toobin, attorney general
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harris, thousand ank you so muc. >> the argument will be heard tomorrow and wednesday as well but a decision is not expected until june. for more, go to next, an anxious night for amanda knox. italy's supreme court will decide if she is to be retried for the murder of college roommate in 2007. can they actually do that? we will talk to her attorney ahe ahead. from the rockies to the east coast, winter will not release its snowy, windy grip despite the fact it's been spring for a week now. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪ i'm up next, but now i'm singing the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is! cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. oh, hi thehey!ill. are you in town for another meeting? yup, i brought my a-team. business trips add up to family time. this is my family. this is joe. hi joe! hi there! earn a ton of extra points with the double your hhonors promotion and feel the hamptonality.
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an italian appeals court overturned her murder conviction so why isn't amanda knox's legal nightmare over? [ male announcer ] i've seen incredible things. otherworldly things.
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crime and punishment tonight. will amanda knox face retrial for murder in italy? we're expecting to hear the answer to that question
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tomorrow. the judges on italy's supreme court heard arguments in the case today. as you know, knox and her former boyfriend were convicted for the 2007 murder of meredith kercher, her college roommate in italy. they spent four years in prison until an italian appeals court overturned their convictions in 2011. amanda knox, who always maintained her innocence, then returned home to the united states. despite the appellate court's ruling, prosecutors do want to try them again. earlier tonight, i spoke with cnn's ben wideman who was at the court in rome for today's hearing and the correspondent for the daily beast. ben, many expected there was going to be a ruling tonight. it looks like it won't come down until tomorrow morning, is that correct? >> reporter: that's right. we were told earlier today we should be expecting some sort of announcement regarding this verdict at 9:00 p.m. however, at 9:00 p.m., a judge came out of the supreme court building behind me and announced we would hear the announcement at 10:00 tomorrow morning,
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that's 5:00 a.m. your time. >> you say we shouldn't read too much into that delay. >> no, i don't think we should read too much into it. this appellate court today heard 14 cases, of which the knox case was certainly the most high profile but it wasn't the most complicated, and you know the head of this court is 76 years old. it's 9:30 at night. maybe he just needed a good night of sleep. the fact they're going to announce it at 10:00 tomorrow morning i think gives us an indication that they do, are honing in on their idea of what they are going to do with this case. otherwise they wouldn't have given us a time. likely they'll meet 7:30, 8:00 to start deliberations, talk it over and give us the verdict 10:00 local time. >> ben, if the court overturns the acquittal, what exactly does that mean? does amanda knox have to return to italy? >> reporter: not yet. we're being told that they will hold another appeal court trial in florence this time, and then they'll decide whether they
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should have a retrial or not and of course, then the italian government would have to request that amanda knox be expatriated, brought back to italy and of course, the united states we understand wasn't really happy the way the trial was conducted the first time around, so there's no guarantee that they will agree to extradite her to italy. >> barbie, do you have any sense of how the court may actually rule? in these kind of cases, is it common for them to reverse acquittals, send things back to the lower court? >> you know, it's a second level of appeal which is when she was acquitted of this crime, 50% of all cases are changed in one way or another. at the high court level, lots of cases are changed but not 50% by any means. generally, you see maybe a reduction in a fine and a fee. sending a case back to retrial is not generally how they answer these cases. you know, generally they are upheld, the verdict in the appellate case. this of course is a high profile case, it's complicated.
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we've got [ inaudible ] who was tried in an entirely separate case. this is not a run of the mail case. it's complicated. you have raffaele sollecito who has one of the best high profile lawyers in italy defending him. you've got factors like that that whether they should or not, all weigh into this mix. >> appreciate it. ben wedeman as well, thanks so much. i'm joined by ted simon, expert in international law who represents amanda knox. thanks for being with us. how confident are you this italian court will not overturn your client's acquittal? >> we're not in the business of prejudging any court's ruling but i think you have to understand what the legal landscape is and the procedural posture we're actually in. the appellate court jury had the authority and the jurisdiction to review whether or not the trial court committed any legal error, but they also had the
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authority and the jurisdiction to re-evaluate the facts and determine what the true facts were, and when they did that, they acted within their authority when they reopened, reinvestigated, re-evaluated and ultimately redetermined what the true facts were, and when they did that, whether it was regard to prosecution witness testimony, physical evidence or prosecution forensic conclusions, they ultimately determined that either it was absent, nonexistent, inaccurate, unreliable or simply wrong. that's why they reversed. that's why we're here today. so all -- the supreme court has a much narrower scope of review. all they're supposed to do is to look and see whether or not the appellate court jury acted within its jurisdiction and according to the proper rules. it does not relitigate or it does not reconsider or re-evaluate or reopen the facts. and that's why everyone remains
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reasonably hopeful without prejudging what they will do. >> i got that. but is there any way that there could be any ruling that would require amanda knox to return to italy? >> well, you know, once again, we have to look at, you know, what's on the legal landscape. right now, we only have to await what the supreme court will do. we're hopeful that they'll just affirm the appellate court. now, to the extent they would not, then it would depend on what their directions are. if they remanded the case for further hearings, that may or may not require amanda's appearance. most likely it does not. and then if another trial resumed, most likely it does not require amanda's appearance. whether she would return for some specific reason or not is not on the legal landscape. it's not even in the legal telescope so all this discussion really about extradition is not nearly in play. the other thing you should know, while we are hopeful they will
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simply affirm this prior wrongful conviction, you know, there is nothing that would lead anyone to believe in any of the evidence that there would be any other verdict but one of not guilty. because there simply is an absence of evidence in this case. >> right. i mean, the fact that it got this far in the trial, that she was convicted at first, it's stunning when you actually look at what evidence there was, because as you said, there really wasn't. as a practical matter, is this case over as far as your client is concerned? i mean, she's living in seattle, she's a student at the university of washington. is she watching these proceedings at all? >> well, i've spoken to amanda a number of times today, and she as well as her family have acted with the utmost courage, persistence, patience, grace, dignity throughout all these proceedings. but like everyone else, they are waiting and they are waiting for what the decision will be. as anyone would.
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so i'm hopeful. we all are hopeful that this supreme court will recognize that the appellate court jury brightly illuminated that this case originally was prefaced on wholly inaccurate and unreliable information just the way the independent examiners determined and therefore, they should conclude as we believe it was a monumental wrongful conviction and hopefully, you know, they will rule that way. >> i appreciate you taking the time to talk to us tonight. thank you. still ahead, convicted child rapist jerry sandusky is talking, even laughing at times about some of the graphic testimony that helped put him behind bars. also ahead, the spring storm that has people in more nan a dozen states digging out from several feet of snow again. will this winter ever end? [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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we're almost a week into spring. you would never know it based on the weather in a big portion of the country. march is obviously supposed to come in like a lion, go out like a lamb but cold, snow, wind and rain are making for a late march mess in more than a dozen states. >> reporter: from denver to d.c., if you're looking for signs of spring, you'll need a shovel. the late winter storm that marched across the midwest over the weekend pushed eastward monday, weakening as it went, but still bringing misery to many. in most areas, the wet snow was measured in inches, but some places saw a foot or more. st. louis got 12.4 inches, its snowiest march day ever. in colorado, the going wasn't just tough, it was terrifying, as this wreck involving a semi and several cars on i-25 shows. farther east in dayton, ohio, the morning rush was more like the morning mush.
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the snow only made monday's commute even more of a downer. in pittsburgh, they forecast up to about a half a foot, but thanks to milder temperatures, rain kept the snow to about one to three inches of slush. >> wet, heavy. so that was surprising. that shocked me. i didn't think it was going to be heavy. i thought it would be a lot lighter. >> reporter: airline passengers found slow or no going as well. in the last 24 hours, more than 1400 flights have been canceled due to weather. in the south, the same system was more fury than flakes, triggering powerful thunderstorms packing hurricane force winds. strong enough to send this jet liner into a hangar and giant trees tumbling. the good news is forecasters say the snow should melt away quickly, so get out and enjoy it. it won't be long before we're all complaining about how hot it is. >> got to complain about something. martin savidge joins me from
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pittsburgh. you say it's supposed to end quickly. how long is this extreme weather supposed to go on for? >> reporter: well, you know, we're in rain right now so a lot of the snow that fell today has gone away, but the temperature's changing over. more snow is expected tonight. in fact, snow is expected here at least for the next couple of days. season opener for baseball, by the way, is one week from today so a lot of people are really starting to think this is a winter without end. we should point out that you get your heaviest snowfalls in the month of march, so this shouldn't be too surprising to a lot of people, but in pittsburgh, the latest they have ever had snow, may 31st. hopefully that record won't be broken this year. >> hope not. thanks a lot. a lot more happening tonight. deborah feyerick joins us with the "360" update. jerry sandusky is speaking out about his conviction on child sex abuse. in a taped prison phone call with a documentary film maker, sandusky questioned the credibility of another former coach, mike mcqueary. you probably recall mcqueary
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testified that he saw sandusky raping a child in 2001 in the locker room showers. sandusky disputing mcqueary's testimony in this clip that aired on nbc's "today" show. >> i don't understand how anybody walked into that locker room from where he was and heard sounds and associated that was sex going on. you know, like he said that -- that would have been the last thing i thought. i would have thought maybe fooling around or something. in brunswick, georgia, two teenagers accused of shooting to death a 13 month old baby boy, well, those two appeared in court. neither suspect entered a plea. the baby's mother say the shooting happened during an attempted robbery. and an apology for artwork from ford depicting bound and
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gagged women in the trunk of a car. new jersey lottery officials say saturday's winnings, $338 million power ball ticket was bought in a passaic liquor store. so far, no official word on the winner. last night as we were all watching "60 minutes" i'm not sure what i saw but i think it was you swimming with crocodiles. what were you thinking? >> seemed like a good idea at the time. i was doing a report for "60 minutes" on two wildlife film makers who discovered you could swim with them in some circumstances in botswana. i don't want to encourage people to swim with them. we are actually going to broadcast the full report tomorrow night on this program on "360" on cnn. look forward to that. it's a pretty startling piece. that's a crocodile there next to me. you might expect a bride or groom to have cold feet when it's time to walk down the aisle. take a look at this. it's our shot of what happens
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when one flower girl decides she simply has had enough before the wedding. take a look. ♪ >> she has had enough. that is our shot tonight. deb, thanks very much. up next, why is the obama administration continuing to spend billions of dollars on high speed rail projects that aren't high speed at all? we investigate an upgrade to the line that shaved travel time by only a few minutes. nothing high speed there except for the price tag. we're keeping them honest. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] how do you engineer a true automotive breakthrough? ♪ you give it bold styling, unsurpassed luxury and nearly 1,000 improvements. the redesigned 2013 glk. see your authorized mercedes-benz dealer
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cfp -- let's make a plan. high speed rail is a key component of president obama's domestic policy. four years ago, he announced to great fanfare that his administration was using $8 billion in stimulus funds as seed money to get high speed rail projects off the ground. an additional billion dollars would then be spent annually. the president even mentioned high speed rail again in his state of the union address just last month, saying it should be part -- key part of repairing america's aging infrastructure. keeping them honest, billions in federal tax dollars have been spent so far with very little to show for it. "360" has been investigating some of these projects like the billion spent in california without one shovel being put into the ground. or the tens of millions spent on high speed rail in vermont, where very few people ride trains to begin with. tonight, our investigation focuses on a project in the pacific northwest that cost a lot. you can decide if that expenditure was worth it. here's drew griffin.
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>> so now, for one of his last speeches in this position, the secretary of transportation, ray lahood. >> reporter: in a half-filled conference room, transportation secretary ray lahood tried to rally hope that his dream and the president's dream of high speed rail would become a reality. but that dream, shared by those here who stand to make money from high speed rail, is turning into a pipe dream. >> this has been an extraordinary four years for high speed rail. >> reporter: what is extraordinary is just how much money federal taxpayers have dumped into high speed rail while the trains are still slow. four years and $12 billion after that pledge to bring high speed rail across america, the slow trains are just moving a little faster. and one of the greater examples of that is what happened in washington state.
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>> yes, we received in our state $800 million. >> reporter: paula hammond was the state's transportation secretary until recently retiring. washington state got $800 million from the federal government. that's your tax money, mainly for improving the track between seattle and portland. and what did you get for it? over a three hour and 40 minute ride. the trip has been reduced by ten minutes. >> ten minutes doesn't sound like a lot of time, but when you think about the fact that you have more options for more round trips, that you know that the train will come and go reliably and on time, that to us is what our passengers tell us is the most important thing. >> all aboard! >> reporter: in fact, ten minutes isn't a lot of time. and paula hammond says despite promises of high speed rail from washington, d.c., it was never washington state's intention of bringing high speed rail like the bullet trains of japan and europe to this section of the country.
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the top speed here is now 79 miles an hour. average speed is in the low 50s. >> i don't know whether we'll ever want high speed rail. high, high speed rail. what we want in our state and in our west coast region between oregon and washington, we want the ability of our communities to be connected so that we can provide good travel, a daily business trip between seattle and portland, and the opportunity not to have to fight traffic. >> reporter: that is a far cry from the vision of high speed rail announced by the president, the vice president and the secretary of transportation back in 2009, when americans were told japanese and european style trains would connect our cities. >> what we're talking about is a vision for high speed rail in america. >> reporter: $12 billion later, that vision has churned out 134 scattered projects across the country that have mostly made slow trains a little faster.
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keeping them honest, we wanted to know why. after his speech to the high speed rail association, we were given a brief interview with outgoing secretary of transportation, ray lahood. i'm wondering after four years and $12 billion spent, if you're disappointed at where high speed rail is. where is the high speed rail? >> the high speed rail in four years, we have invested $12 billion. that's just the federal money. >> reporter: but so much of the money has been spent really making the old trains go a little bit faster. >> 110 is pretty fast. >> reporter: seattle to portland, you spent $108 million and the trip time is reduced by ten minutes. >> i think people like the investments we're making. there is so much enthusiasm in america for high speed rail. we have been at it four years. we have invested $12 billion. we have seen these investments get trains to higher speeds. we have seen these investments improve service. we have seen these investments improve on-time service to the
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point where now amtrak is at an all-time ridership high. without these investments, i don't think that would have happened. >> reporter: but you want true high speed rail, right? >> in some parts of the country. >> reporter: you don't want these trains going a little bit faster. >> in some parts of the country we will have trains going 200 miles an hour. >> reporter: when? >> as soon as we can get the kind of work that needs to be done started. >> reporter: what that is exactly is unclear. there is only one true high speed rail line actually envisioned in the entire united states. it's the california plan to bring a 200 mile an hour train from san francisco to los angeles. it's been in the planning stages for nearly ten years and not a single piece of rail has been laid. back in seattle, one day they do hope to reach speeds of perhaps 110 miles an hour in some sections of the track, but at what price? what we do know, this year, federal taxpayers will send out
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another $1 billion for high speed rail. >> drew griffin joins us. so the secretary of transportation kept talking about the goal of high speed rail in the future. what is the goal if not to build high speed rail now? >> anderson, he talks about high speed rail in terms of the interstate highway system, what they are doing now with high speed rail is similar to that system which it started in bits and pieces and chunks and eventually after decades tied together. now, what critics will say both for and against this high speed rail, we're not building pieces of high speed rail. we're just wasting high speed rail money fixing up old slow rail. >> it's one thing, i mean, if you just set out and said you know what, we wanted to make, you know, a 60 mile an hour train go 70 miles an hour, we want to cut ten minutes off this time, and then people could judge whether that's, you know, worth it for the $800 million but if you're selling it as high speed rail, that seems almost
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misleading. i mean, people are still riding trains. people still like trains, as the guy said, amtrak use is up. >> true, but is it wise and getting to your point, anderson, this was sold as high speed rail. people thought they were getting high speed rail. the bullet trains. that's what they're selling. that's what they're showing to us. but if you look at what was happening in washington state, you know, right now after $800 million, it's still cheaper and many times faster to take the greyhound bus from seattle to portland. so what was that investment all about? it wasn't about high speed rail. it was just about fixing up amtrak, fixing up the low speed rail and really making freight trains move a little better. but not high speed rail. >> as we mentioned in the introduction, this is the third piece you've done on this issue. after the last one we got thousands of e-mails, basically e-mail bomb. who's behind that? they were very critical. >> they are very critical.
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we reached out to them and talked, there's a network of people who really do believe deep down, they are rail enthusiasts, they believe in the idea of bringing the japanese or the european style trains here to the u.s. but as we have explained to them, even after we got e-mail bombed, look, you're not getting high speed rail. and they will admit it. they will admit that this administration is not investing in the actual bullet trains like the ones that they believe, they believe will bring us into the future of transportation. it's not what we're getting. >> drew, appreciate it. coming up, if there's one place teenagers love to hang out it's an old time bingo parlor. the "ridiculist" is next. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪
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[ female announcer ] nothing gets you going quite like the power of quaker oats. today is going to be epic. quaker up. today is going to be epic. with the bing it on challenge to show google users what they've been missing on bing. let's bing it on. [fight bell: ding, ding] how many here are google users? what if i was to tell you that you would actually like bing way more than google when it came to the results? prove it. let's look up some taco places. i like the left side. yeah? okay, do we need to find out what the waves are like down at the beach? what side do you like better? i like the results on the right. i'm gonna go with the one on the left. oh! bing won! people prefer bing over google for the web's top searches. don't believe it? go to and see what you're missing.
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Anderson Cooper 360
CNN March 25, 2013 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

News/Business. (2013) New. (CC)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 12, Italy 10, California 7, United States 7, Colorado 7, America 7, Washington 7, Canada 6, Advair 4, China 4, Portland 4, U.s. 4, Joe 4, Ray Lahood 3, Jerry Sandusky 3, Tom Clements 3, Google 3, Anderson 3, Bing 3, Pittsburgh 3
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